The L.O.O.T.M. Archive
Lust Object of the Month
Precursor to the fabled A6M "Zero" was the A5M "Claude." A contemporary of the Polikarpov I-16, the A5M was a highly maneuverable shipboard fighter for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
The "Claude" was a compact fighter--24 feet long with a 36 foot span--and was powered by engines ranging from 550 HP - 785 HP depending on the model. It boasted a top speed of 270 mph, and was armed with two .303 machine guns mounted in the top cowling. With a gross weight of 3694 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio was quite high, yielding good overall performance including vertical maneuvering.
The "Claude" was also a pretty, well-proportioned aircraft. The semi-elliptical wing planform is complex to build, but aerodynamically efficient and ascetically beautiful. It would also be used by such aircraft as the P-47 "Thunderbolt," the Heinkel He-112, the "Tempest" and "Sea Fury" and, of course, the immortal "Spitfire."
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